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losangelesnewstoday.com January 23, 2018


US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

07 January 2018, 06:39 | Katrina Lee

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

A former Navy test pilot, Young became an astronaut in 1962.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Mr Young maintained Nasa should be developing massive rockets to lift payloads to the moon to industrialise it, he said, and building space systems for detecting and deflecting comets or asteroids that could threaten Earth. He was the only person to fly on all three types of programs.

Fellow astronaut Charles Bolden called Young and Robert "Hoot" Gibson the two best pilots he had ever known.

"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer", acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot was quoted as saying.

In 1972, Young landed on the Moon himself during the Apollo 16 mission. Bouncing along the lunar surface in a four-wheeled rover, he and Charlie Duke collected 200 pounds of rock specimens. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know. "In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is".

"He was quite an asset to the space programme", Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell said, according to an interview with the Orlando Sentinel when Young retired in 2004.

It was on this mission that Young pulled his sandwich stunt, which did not make NASA brass happy but certainly pleased Grissom, the recipient of the snack. Young said later that launching the space shuttle always scared him more than it thrilled him because so much could go wrong.

US Astronaut who walked on the moon dies aged 87

NASA later rebuked Young for the antics, which generated criticism from lawmakers and the media, but his career did not suffer.

Young orbited the moon on Apollo 10 in May 1969 in preparation for the Apollo 11 landing that was to follow.

"The Moon is a very nice place", he had said. He was scheduled to fly for a seventh time to launch the Hubble Space Telescope in 1986, only to have that mission scrubbed following the loss of Space Shuttle Challenger.

He never went to space again.

Former President George H.W. Bush released the following statement following his death.

His statement says "John was more than a good friend; he was a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our Nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time".

Young was born on September 24, 1930, in San Francisco and grew up in Orlando, Florida. But he was also described as a savvy engineer and a "test pilot's test pilot".

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